A Philosophical Break
Now most wouldnâ€™t consider stopping to look at philosophy a break, but when I sit down to relax and donâ€™t want to waste my time, I tend to pick up on of two books. Either I grab a copy of No Place For Truth by David F. Wells or Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. In her book Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey wrote a chapter called â€œHow Women Started the Culture Wars.â€ One of the subtitles within that chapter caught my eye due to the fact that I had just read an article and had listened to a radio show on the new â€œGodMenâ€ conference started by popular comedian Brad Stine. I was immediately intrigued by the story â€“ Brad Stine was, in my opinion, a great conservative comedian. But my respect was destroyed in an instant when I heard Albert Mohler describe for me the GodMen conference â€“ men seeing the problems within our churches today, yet doing the worst thing to fix it.
The Los Angeles Times ran a story on the conference, describing Brad Stine as a comedian and now an “evangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man — one profanity at a time.â€
How do they do that? They do it by simply taking charge:
â€¦ Men taking charge is a big theme of the GodMen revival. At what he hopes will be the first of many such conferences, in a warehouse-turned-nightclub in downtown Nashville, Stine asks the men: “Are you ready to grab your sword and say, ‘OK, family, I’m going to lead you?’ ” He also distributes a list of a real man’s rules for his woman. No. 1: “Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.”
Stine’s wife, Desiree, says she supports manly leadership; it seems to her the natural and God-ordained order of things. As she puts it: “When the rubber hits the bat, I want to know my husband will protect me.” But some men at the conference run into trouble when they debut their new attitudes at home.
Eric Miller, a construction worker, admits his wife is none too pleased when he takes off, alone, on a weekend camping trip a few weeks after the GodMen conference this fall.”She was a little bit leery of it, as we have an infant,” he reports. “She said, ‘I need your help around here.’ “Miller, 26, refuses to yield: “I am supposed to be the leader of the family.”
He’s pretty sure his wife will come around once she recognizes he’s modeling his life after Jesus’, like a good Christian should. It’ll just take a little explaining, because the Jesus he has in mind is the guy on the wanted poster: “confrontational and sarcastic when he needed to be,” Miller says, and determined to use “whatever means was necessary to achieve his goal.”
Unbelievable. As Dr. Mohler points out, â€œA real man honors women — especially his wife. Real manhood is shown in chivalry and the code of the gentleman, not in crude “rules for real men” that should be an embarrassment to all concerned.â€
Nancy Pearcey really hits the mark in history of â€œmanly menâ€ from the time of houses as the place of work to the great migration of men from their former places of work â€“ the homes â€“ to the factories and offices. As a result, the primary parent became the Mother, instead of the biblically mandated Father.
Pearcey also looks at the reform movements of the past century, noting that they are all women reforming men. A reaction was set in place as the men began to do whatever it took to avoid over civilization, softness, and effeminateness. The Wild West came with Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. Jack London began writing books equating men with beasts. â€œBad boyâ€ books such as Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer became hits. Outdoor activities were exalted as the Boy Scouts were born. Most importantly, Tarzan became popular.
Now, you ask, why is this so important? Well, let me have Nancy Pearcey explain first.
â€œSome writers began to celebrate the male as primitive and barbarian, praising the â€œanimal instinctsâ€ and â€œanimal energy.â€ â€¦This new definition of masculine virtue reflected in part the influence of Darwinâ€™s theory of evolution. For if humanâ€™s evolved from the animal world, the implication was that the animal nature is the core of our being.â€
This is indeed a startling understanding of what people or groups such as GodMen are teaching.
â€œFor the first time it became socially acceptable for fathers not to be involved with their families,â€ says Pearcey. â€œBy the 1920s and 30s in urban areas, the father had become the secondary parent who coved the â€œextrasâ€: hobbies, sports, trips to the zoo. As one historian describes it, fathers were reduced to entertainers. Romper Room dads.â€
Marriage, of course, is a trap that will â€œcrush manâ€™s adventurous, freedom loving spirit.â€ Care to guess who said that?
â€œGodMen,â€ you say, â€œor probably Brad Stine.â€
Wrong. Playboy magazine in the 1950s.
â€œReal Christian men are those who have grown up to be men, not those who embarrass the church and confuse the Gospel with displays of adolescent misbehavior,â€ Albert Mohler concludes in his evaluation of GodMen. â€œLet’s hope this movement grows up before it blows up.â€
Amen to that.